How To Choose The Best Elbow Sleeves For Lifting

Lifting weights can cause pain or discomfort on the elbows especially if you have previous injuries or suffer from conditions like tennis or golf elbows. Fortunately, elbow sleeves are here to save the day!

The best elbow sleeves for lifting offer protection, support, and compression to relieve pain and stress on your elbows. This will help improve your performance and progress in your training. If you want to learn how to pick the right pair for your needs and other elbow sleeves benefits, continue reading the sections that follow!


How Do Elbow Sleeves Work?


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Elbow sleeves, like knee sleeves, are garments that are typically worn by athletes and weightlifters to reduce pain, prevent injuries, and offer compression and warmth.

They work by countering the force of the muscles around the elbow such as the triceps and biceps as you exercise. Because of this, the load that is being received by the joint becomes distributed and reduced, which can help prevent wear and tear in the long run.

In other words, the elbow sleeves offer support to the elbow joint so it won’t be damaged due to taking the whole load head on.

Depending on how thick elbow sleeves are, they can also compress the surrounding area to improve circulation. This increases the pumping of fresh blood for your muscles and keeps your joints loose throughout your workout.

Benefits Of Elbow Sleeves For Lifting

wearing elbow sleeves

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Listed below are some of the many benefits and reasons why you should buy elbow sleeves:

​1. They Improve Blood Circulation

As I have said, compression sleeves increase blood flow to the elbow area. This helps the blood reach deeper into your joints and muscles rather than just your skin. This also helps in distributing nutrients to your working cells and reduce pain and inflammation by enhancing the flushing out of toxins.

2. They Help In Injury Recovery.

Compression sleeves help speed up injury recovery, which is essential in weightlifting. Moreover, they allow you to continue training while recovering. They also help reduce swelling, pain, and discomfort so you can push yourself harder.

3. They Help Prevent Injury.

Of course, prevention is better than cure. Elbow compression sleeves not only help prevent weightlifting injuries but also reduce your risk of getting conditions like tendonitis. They keep your elbows warm and tight.

​To know how to prevent weightlifting injuries, please watch this video:

4. They Help Regulate Your Body Temperature.

Because they can help conserve heat, elbow sleeves also help maintain the right body temperature as you exercise.

5. They Help Prevent Muscle Soreness.

Because of the improved circulation, elbow sleeves also help your muscles recover faster. By increasing blood flow, your muscle cells are able to release and remove toxins and by-products of exercise like pain-causing lactic acid. This, therefore, reduces muscle soreness and tightness.

6. They Protect The Skin.

Elbow sleeves can help protect your skin from the sun, bacteria, scratches, and irritation due to your workout environment or contact with equipment.

Factors To Consider When Buying Elbow Sleeves

Overhead-squat with sleeves

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There are several things that you should consider before purchasing elbow sleeves for lifting. Here are some of the most important ones:


Elbow sleeve materials range from regular stretch fabric to neoprene, latex, nylon, spandex, polyester, and a variety of woven fabrics. The material will not only determine the durability but also the comfort, breathability, support, and flexibility of the sleeve so make sure to choose wisely.

Some sleeves also have inserts or technologies that offer UV protection, odor protection, antimicrobial effect, and pain reduction such as copper-infused materials.

Choose something that will be easy to clean, quick-drying, and will hold up well even with constant or regular use. It should also be lightweight and well-ventilated. Some people also prefer thicker materials since this gives a tighter, more cushioned feel.

Support And Stability

The primary function of an elbow sleeve is to support the elbows. Take into consideration how much support your elbows require and their specific purpose for you. Are you recovering from injury or are trying to prevent one? Do you suffer from a particular condition?

Note, also, that more compression and support are not necessarily better. There is such a thing as too much stability that can hamper your performance.


Needless to say, you want something that will last. When choosing elbow sleeves for lifting, keep in mind which movements you usually do. Do you move your arms a lot like in push-ups and presses? If so, look for something that will stretch sufficiently and won’t tear with repetitive movements.


Of course, it is also essential to maintain a full range of motion while lifting. Make sure your elbow sleeves will not restrict your movement in any way. Thicker materials and tighter compression often cause you to sacrifice mobility.

To check whether an elbow sleeve is right for you, try them on and move your arms and elbows around, preferably by doing exercises, to get an idea on how they will feel.


Depending on your preference and need, you may want elbow sleeves that keep your joints warm and toasty. If so, choose something that retains body heat and is a bit thicker. Otherwise, if you often feel sweaty, sticky, or hot, go for a more lightweight pair.

Stitching And Finish

The quality of stitching also determines how long your elbow sleeves will last. A good elbow sleeve should feel firm yet comfortable. Pay attention to the stitching on all ends since these are usually the problem areas. Look for something that will hold up well and not hurt or irritate your skin.


Another critical factor is the grip, which ensures your elbow sleeve will not slip down, slide off, move around, or bunch up as you lift. This is not only annoying but can also affect your performance and waste your time if you have to adjust your sleeve all the time.

​Look for sleeves with good grips or elastic bands at the end to keep them intact.

5 Best Elbow Sleeve For Lifting Reviews

Below are the top 5 elbow sleeves for lifting in the market today:

1. ​Recovery Elbow Sleeve by Copper Compression

Recovery Elbow Sleeve by Copper Compression

Boasting of the highest quality copper and most copper content, Copper Compression offers their recovery elbow sleeves to provide the comfort and support you need.

This garment utilizes genuine copper ions instead of the inferior and commonly used copper oxide. The distinction helps in relieving pain as well as supporting sore and stiff muscles.

This product also fits comfortably around your elbows and arms without rolling, slipping, or bunching. Simply refer to their sizing guide for the perfect size.

These elbow sleeves are so versatile that you can wear them at home, while playing sports, or at the gym while lifting for support and pain management. The material used is also so comfortable that you can hardly notice anything even if you wear them all day, all night.

​They are also breathable and stretchable enough to allow for a full range of motion but still offer sufficient compression. This product comes in four sizes from small to extra large.